The city of Bath is an expensive place, when working there it is impossible to find a cheap room to stay in and therefore most tradesmen find refuge in hotels in the suburbs or in nearby towns. For me it was the latter. We were staying in the quiet village of Limpley Stoke at the rather obviously named Limpley Stoke Hotel.

For Some reason there are a lot of jugs hanging from the ceiling in the Avon bar.

For Some reason there are a lot of jugs hanging from the ceiling in the Avon bar.

Getting to the point: at the bottom of the driveway of the hotel is a small country pub, The Hop Pole Inn. Dating back to the 16th century, this pub has character and charm. All of the features you expect from an old pub, the log fire, the dark wood, the assortment of knick-knacks adorning the walls and ceiling. There was real ale on tap and an atmosphere that was spot on for the type of pub it is.

All of this , however, is about to change because as I write this now, the Hop Pole inn is pouring its final pints. Tonight the barmaid shall call time, for the last time. Yes, this fine example of English country life is to close. And I can not figure out for the life of me why that is! I know that the hotel owns the pub and I can get my head around the idea that the hotel management want to save money.

Trying to take photographs in a pub's decor and not look like you're taking a cheeky snap of someone's wife is tricky. I hope that explains this bad picture.

Trying to take photographs of a pub’s decor and not look like you’re taking a cheeky snap of someone’s wife is tricky. I hope that explains this bad picture.

Nearly all of the hotel guests go down to the pub for a drink and their evening meal rather than eating in the hotel, but surely it would be better to close the hotel kitchen? I was there for five nights and every night there was a large crowd in the bar and in the lounge. The hotel bar only ever had people in it when the pub wasn’t serving food. The reason they weren’t serving food? Because they were closing down at the end of the week and therefore were not ordering any more stock.

 Having had a pint of either Bath Ales Gem or Sharp’s Doombar most nights we were a bit shocked that on Friday when we were told that they had only bottled ales left. While we ate our final meal at the pub (steak pie – fantastic) we ordered a few bottles of Doombar (bottled), eventually we were told that we had been given the final two bottles of ale in the pub. From then on it was lager and cider only. I had the last pint of ale that the Hop Pole Inn may ever serve. An honour, but a terribly sad honour.

The Hop Pole Inn is for sale and I truly hope that someone buys it and keeps the tradition alive. This pub is worth it. If I had the money to put where my mouth is, I would.

The Hop Pole Inn on a cold November evening

The Hop Pole Inn on a cold November evening